Help with paper wrap cartridge


It could be an Eley .477 Breech Capping Cartridge but, I’m not sure.
I have included a coin in the photograph, to try to give some appreciation of size. Have also tried to peer into the ends, but, without much success.
Understand that it could also be some kind of recent production.

I’m reluctant to pull it apart…therefore; would greatly appreciate help in identification, or any additional background information.



Hi Sam,

Looks like a .450 Westley Richards Musket cartridge (inside protective envelope). Please, can you measure the approx. total length?




Hi Fede,
Length is: 2.76" (approx 7cm).


Hi Fede,
My initial thought came from: Eley Cartridges, by C.W. Harding, Page 55. There is a photograph of a package and a single round, with the accompanying text:
“William Powell & Sons, .477 breech-capping carbine cartridges.”

The package has: “Eley Bros. Ld., LONDON” written on the side.

Unfortunately no dimensions to help with an ID.



Thanks, then it has the total length of the carbine variant loaded with 2 drams. I don’t know if there is a difference between an Eley cartridge made for Wm. Powell & Sons and one made for Westley Richards, as their their description is exactly the same (projectile .447, weight 400 grs, powder 2 drms).


Hi Sam - you had best start collecting foreign coins as well, for those of us outside the U.S. Fortunately, the introduction of the Euro will make that easier for you.

Sorry - I couldn’t resist :)


These early Westley’s Monkey Tail cartridges are hard to pin down once they are removed from the packet.
Also being hand made / assembled for the most part, plus the paper for the carrier & then I suppose the size of the powder grains & how loosely or tightly they are wrapped all contribute to variations.
Here are 5 different.


Many thanks to Fede, Mayhem & Pete for your input.

I’ve continued to search and found the following at the; “British Militaria Forum”:

“The original cartridges were 2.75” (or 2.62”) in length, but that was using the original belted bullet. Some chambers were also made longer than others…”
Ref: BobB

I was also able to find the following and hope that it might be of interest: